Authorities have issued a warning to drone operators after an altercation with the RAC Rescue Helicopter sent to save a young boy who fell off a cliff at Bells Rapids at the weekend.
The 11-year-old had to be winched from a cliff face and flown by the chopper to hospital after falling 10m down a rocky ledge at the popular Brigadoon nature park on Sunday.
On Wednesday, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services took to social media warning people not to fly drones when the helicopter was responding to incidents, in case of “halting essential assistance”.
“Before the chopper could enter the area however, crews had to locate a drone operator after one had been spotted nearby,” the post said.
“While not causing a delay to the response at this incident, it’s a timely reminder as the warmer months loom to not fly drones while our aircraft are responding to incidents.
“Our aerial fleet may be grounded if drones are spotted, halting essential assistance to our hard working crews on the ground and the community.”
The warning comes as DFES released footage of the rescue mission, which shows the boy being winched to safety after falling during an outing with his family.
Paramedics, firefighters and Gosnells State Emergency Service unit were called to the scene.
The youngster was flown to Perth Children’s Hospital with leg injuries and cuts to his face.
An ambulance had earlier rushed to the scene under priority one conditions.
Bells Rapids, which forms part of the Swan River, includes a 2.5km and 3km walk trails that follow the river, before climbing a hill with some steep rocky sections to navigate.
It is also known for being one of the best vantage points for the Avon River descent.